Dáil Éireann - Volume 616 - 08 March, 2006

Written Answers. - Homeless Persons.

  54. Mr. G. Mitchell asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government his views on whether homelessness will ever be eradicated here; if so, when; the measures he will take to achieve same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [9484/06]

  77. Ms Shortall asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government if he intends to provide for the establishment of emergency accommodation in suburban areas following the recent review of the Government’s homelessness strategy which pinpointed the lack of such facilities for young homeless people as being of particular concern. [9598/06]

  110. Mr. Morgan asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government the actions he will be taking on foot of the publication of the independent review of the implementation of the Government’s integrated and preventative homeless strategies; and the timetable for the implementation of the recommendations contained in this report in view of the fact that he has indicated that he accepts the broad thrust of the recommendations. [9438/06]

  Mr. N. Ahern: I propose to take Questions Nos. 54, 77 and 110 together.

The Independent Review of the Implementation of Homeless Strategies, which I published recently and copies of which are available in the Oireachtas Library, examined the implementation of the Government’s integrated and pre[665] ventative homeless strategies and concluded that the two strategies should be amalgamated and revised.

The review specifically recommended that the resultant revised strategy should have an overarching goal to eliminate long-term homelessness in Ireland by a defined date in the future and should include clearly defined objectives, actions, projected outcomes, timescales for delivery and an appropriate monitoring mechanism to track progress. In Dublin the Homeless Agency has already defined as its overarching goal the elimination of long-term homelessness and the need to sleep rough in Dublin by 2010. The Government has accepted the broad thrust of the recommendations of the review and work has commenced on the preparation of a revised and updated strategy on homelessness, having regard to the recommendations of the independent review.

The review acknowledges that, while emergency accommodation is largely sufficient in the major urban centres, it should continue to be provided to address outstanding requirements in other areas. The planning and provision of accommodation and care for homeless persons services at local level are matters for the local authority concerned and the Health Service Executive to be progressed in the local homeless action plans. My Department will take the foregoing issues into account as it develops a revised Government strategy on homelessness, under the aegis of the cross-Department team on homelessness.